World Cup ski wrap: Thompson fifth to retain leader's bib 

Janyk 21st while under the weather in France

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MALCOLM CARMICHAEL / COURTESY OF ALPINE CANADA - Whistler's Marielle Thompson finished fifth at Val Thorens, France, on Sunday to retain her lead in the women's World Cup ski cross standings.
  • Photo by Malcolm Carmichael / Courtesy of Alpine Canada
  • Whistler's Marielle Thompson finished fifth at Val Thorens, France, on Sunday to retain her lead in the women's World Cup ski cross standings.

Whistler's Marielle Thompson won the small final at Val Thorens, France on Sunday, Dec. 15 to retain the lead in the women's World Cup ski cross standings and provide Canada's best finish for the second week in a row.

Thompson and all three of her Canadian teammates qualified for the women's heats, but the 2012 Crystal Globe winner was the only one to make it past the quarter-final round. Thompson finished third in her semifinal before winning Sunday's small final to place fifth.

"It's disappointing we didn't have a podium because we set the bar pretty high but Marielle was able to keep the overall lead," said Canadian team coach Willy Raine in a release. "To come away with the results we had, with the girls competing together in the bottom bracket, it was a good day."

Rounding out the other Canadian results, Georgia Simmerling finished 10th, Kelsey Serwa placed 15th and Danielle Sundquist wound up in 19th place. The start gate appeared to malfunction during Serwa's quarter-final heat and the Canadian team lodged an official complaint, but the results were not changed.

Katrin Mueller and Sanna Luedi made it a one-two finish for Switzerland and France's Ophelie David placed third. After taking the win last week in Alberta, Thompson now leads David by 25 points in the World Cup standings.

Difficult conditions at Val Thorens made it tough on the Canadian men's team during Saturday qualification, as none were able to ski into the top 32 advancing to Sunday's race heats. Chris Del Bosco (50th) and Whistler's Dave Duncan (52nd) were the closest to qualifying on Saturday.

Austria's Andreas Matt picked up the win Sunday, joined on the podium by Sweden's Victor Oehling Norberg and France's Jean Frederic Chapuis.

The World Cup ski cross tour continues next weekend with a back-to-back race at Innichen/San Candido, Italy.

JANYK 21st AT VAL D'ISERE

Whistler's Mike Janyk skied to 21st place as the World Cup slalom schedule resumed Sunday at Val d'Isere, France.

The 31-year-old battled through a stomach bug on Sunday but still managed to post quick times on the top section of the course. That helped Janyk move up six spots on the second run after ranking 27th on the first session.

"I was pretty green this morning," Janyk said in a release. "In my runs I had no power at the bottom.

"First run I was touch and go but made it down. Second run I found some energy. There were good top sections on both runs but for me personally it was a mixed bag."

Julien Cousineau recorded the best Canadian finish, placing 18th despite starting 56th. It was a big bounce-back performance for the Quebec native, who had not posted a result in a World Cup slalom in nearly two years.

Canada's Phil Brown and Paul Stutz were unable to finish their first runs and Brad Spence finished 36th, just four-tenths out of the top 30 making the flip.

Austria's Mario Matt won the event, followed by Sweden's Mattias Hargin and Italy's Patrick Thaler.

Janyk's next World Cup race won't come until the Jan. 6 night slalom at Zagreb, Croatia. The speed team is back in action Dec. 20 and 21 with a super-G and downhill at Val Gardena, Italy.

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